Tag Archives: salvaged wood flooring

Salvaged Beams Used In Custom Home Design

We are always inspired to see how our customers use the architectural antiques and salvage items purchased from Southern Accents. Many of our customers will walk through the showroom with a vision of exactly how they want to incorporate salvaged items into their home or business. Others will discover pieces that they fall in love with and will walk away with their treasured items not knowing exactly how to utilize them. Such was the case with customers Kevin and Kristen Thomas.

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The Thomas’s came to us a couple of years ago looking for salvaged beams for their new home. In the fall of 2013 we purchased an 1815 barn in Rising Sun, Indiana. The enormous hand-hewn beams in this barn were some of the best we had ever rescued. Knowing the Thomas’s were looking for large beams, we contacted them to let them know about our find. Kevin met us at our wood warehouse as the beams arrived. He took one look and said, “I don’t know exactly what I am going to do with them, but I want every one of them!” In addition to the beams, Southern Accents also supplied reclaimed wood and custom doors that were installed throughout the home. Last week the Thomas’s were kind enough to invite us to tour their new home. We were blown away!

Use of the salvaged beams can be seen throughout the home. The most impressive is the massive arched beam that runs parallel with the upstairs balcony railing. The over 25 foot long beam immediately grabs your attention as you enter the home. While some might see the arch as a flaw, the Thomas’s viewed it as an architectural piece loaded with character and left the beam untouched, exposing the mortise pockets. Salvaged beams were used in various places throughout the interior, including the door frames, as well as the exterior of the home. Having a “nothing wasted” mentality, even scrap pieces were put to good use. Some were cut into corbels and used to support the concrete counter on the kitchen island, while other pieces were used to build a fabulous table that sits below the television in the family room.

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Beams were used as door frames throughout the house. Scrap pieces were used to build the beautiful custom table.

Stay tuned… We’ll be posting more photos from this incredible home in the near future. In the mean time, stop by our wood showroom and take a look at our selection of reclaimed wood and salvaged beams and let your imagination run wild!!

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Corbels were cut from scraps of the salvaged beams and used to help support the concrete countertop.

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Some of the salvaged beams can be seen across the back covered patio.


Greenville Salvage Mission

Southern Accents latest salvage mission took us to Greenville, Alabama to this fantastic 1890’s house. The house, which has been vacant for a few years, featured some of the very best craftsmanship that we have seen to date. Amongst the dust, chippy paint, and attic full of bats, were splendid columns topped with spectacular plaster ionic capitals, tiled fireplaces with white oak and mahogany mantels, cast iron surrounds, large solid wood doors and diamond paned windows just waiting to be rescued! And the wood… from the sky blue bead board on the porch ceiling to the magnificent heart pine flooring, the wood that lay in this house was simply amazing!

The 1890's house in Greenville, Alabama contained some of the finest workmanship that we've ever seen.

The 1890’s house in Greenville, Alabama contained some of the finest workmanship that we’ve ever seen.

Every salvage mission that we embark on is different from the one before. Old houses especially seem to speak to us, each one in it’s own unique voice, as if it has a story to tell. Upon entering this house, each of our team members felt a sense of peace. This particular house gave off a “happy” vibe. While salvaging the property, we had the opportunity to visit with two sisters who grew up in the house. As they walked with us through each room, they fondly shared with us some of their memories. They remembered moving in to the house as young children. Their parents had reached an agreement with the owner, an elderly widower who needed someone to assist in taking care of him. The couple and their four young daughters lived in the three bedroom one bath house and, in return, they cared for the owner until his death. Not having any family to leave the house to, the owner sold the property to the family for $10 before his passing.

This beautiful house is one that we would have loved to see restored.

This beautiful house is one that we would have loved to see restored.

Southern Accents mission is to rescue, restore, and repurpose architectural elements of historical significance. It is never our goal to destroy a property. We only come on the scene once a building has been scheduled for demolition by the property owner. This house is one that we would love to have seen restored. We are, however, thankful to have been given the opportunity to salvage all the beautiful architectural elements from this house before it was taken down. In our continued preservation efforts, we are documenting this salvage mission. We pictured this property before beginning any salvage efforts. We also had our in-house architect take measurements, draw blueprints and are currently researching for more history and information on the property. We will be taking all of this information and publishing it on our website and blog as well as keeping a printed copy in our showroom. This is our way of ensuring that information on this magnificent house is available for future generations to enjoy, just as the items salvaged from this house will be enjoyed for many years by their new owners.

The heart pine wood flooring throughout this house was gorgeous.

The heart pine wood flooring throughout this house was gorgeous.

Please visit our New Arrivals page to view many of the remaining items salvaged from this house.

These spectacular interior columns are topped with plaster ionic capitals

These spectacular interior columns are topped with plaster ionic capitals

The wrap around porch showcased more columns topped with plaster ionic capitals and a gorgeous sky blue painted porch ceiling.

The wrap around porch showcased more columns topped with plaster ionic capitals and a gorgeous sky blue painted porch ceiling.

This spectacular white oak mantel was one of five that we salvaged from the Greenville house.

This spectacular white oak mantel was one of five that we salvaged from the Greenville house.

Tin spire salvaged from the top of the Greenville house.

Tin spire salvaged from the top of the Greenville house.

Written by: Lisa Jones


Deconstructed, Recycled, Repurposed… Salvaged Wood

When entering Southern Accents showroom, the first thing that may catch your eye is the sparkle of a crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, the row of beautiful wood doors neatly lined down the center aisle, an ornate mantel sitting against the brick wall, or perhaps our bright red antique Coca-Cola machine waiting to greet thirsty customers. What you don’t see in our showroom has become a very large part of our business, our salvaged wood.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques Travel one mile from Southern Accents showroom and you will arrive at our wood warehouse. In what was a basketball gym in the 1960’s, now houses a huge collection of reclaimed wood, trim, and beams. Salvaged wood is highly sought after for a wide variety of uses. While the bulk of what we sell is used as flooring, much of it is also used to build doors, furniture, stair treads and various DIY projects. Beams are turned into rustic fireplace mantels and salvaged barn wood skins are used as wall and ceiling coverings. Odd pieces are quickly snatched up by DIY enthusiasts who always have that perfect project in mind!

The question, “Where do you get all of this wood?” is one that we hear often. All salvaged wood is wood that has been rescued from buildings that have been slated for demolition for a variety of reasons. Some of the wood that we acquire comes from a house or barn that we salvage ourselves. Much of the wood is acquired from large textile mills across the Southeast that are no longer producing goods. Because the bulk of the textile industry has moved overseas, many of these mills which were built during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, have sat empty for years and are now being torn down. The buildings are dismantled in reverse order from how they were constructed. Once the exterior material, typically brick, is removed, the wood decking is exposed and salvaged followed by the structural beams. Wood acquired from these very large salvage projects are stacked and sold in bulk.

Textile mill being deconstructed

Textile mill being deconstructed

Salvaging wood is an extremely labor intensive process. When we salvage a barn or house, we inspect the wood and look for signs of infestation of insects. Infested wood is culled and burned. Each piece of usable wood is then checked, by hand, with a metal detector for nails and any other metal fragments. All metal must be removed from every piece before it can be taken to the mill. The wood is then graded and stacked on pallets. We examine each stack of wood to determine how we can obtain the maximum yield. Wood that has been processed can be taken directly to the mill where it can be re-sawn, planed to a common thickness, straight lined to common widths, and perhaps tongue and grooved to use as flooring. Wood that has paint or stain on the exterior is typically cut to 1/2″ thick and used for colorful skins to maintain the original look that many of our customers seek for ceiling and wall decor.

If you are considering wood flooring for your home, engineered wood flooring is certainly less expensive, but cannot compare to the beauty of salvaged wood flooring. Salvaged, antique wood has character that tells a story. It should be considered an investment that adds value to your home. The use of salvage wood also serves a greater purpose. Reuse of these materials directly contributes to the sustainability of our planet.

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Gorgeous salvaged wood floor.

While we have a variety of wood species in our warehouse at any given time, the most sought after wood is heart pine. Residing in the south, the heart pine is more readily available and is an excellent choice for flooring. When looking for wood for use as flooring, wall covering, furniture, a DIY project or that awesome rustic beam mantle, stop by our wood warehouse and consider using reclaimed wood for your next project. The warehouse is located at 250 Janeway Drive and open Tuesday – Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Another beautiful salvaged wood floor

Another beautiful salvaged wood floor

Article written by: Lisa Jones
Southern Accents Webmaster/Marketing


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